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10 Deepest and Darkest Lakes In The World


These ten lakes are among the deepest in the world, with some reaching depths of over 1km.

The majority of each lake has been left unaltered since it was formed by geological forces, leaving behind rich ecosystems untouched by human activity.

10. Lake Vostok, Antarctic

Lake Vostok is over 4km deep and covers an area of 1290 square km. It was once believed that this lake might be home to prehistoric life forms which have evolved in isolation for millions of years.

However, it is now thought that this lake contains toxic hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. The water conditions mean that there is no life in the lake, and it is improbable any will develop.

It was once theorized that Lake Vostok might contain prehistoric life, but recent studies suggest that the water contains toxic substances.

9. Lake Tanganyika, Africa

Lake Tanganyika is approximately 4km deep with an area of 2,800 square km. It is one of the oldest lakes globally, dating back to when a shallow sea joined Africa and Madagascar.

The lake is home to over 350 species and forms part of the catchment area for Congo, Lualaba, and Lukuga.

8. Lake Baikal, Russia

Lake Baikal holds an estimated 20% of all freshwater globally and is roughly 4km deep. It is home to over 1,700 animals and plants, many of which are unique to the lake.

Around 90% of the lake is covered by ice, and although it was once threatened by pollution, there has been a significant improvement in water quality since 1987. There is also an estimated 44 billion tonnes of methane under its surface.

Lake Baikal holds roughly one-fifth of the world’s fresh water and has been protected from further pollution since 1987.

7. Lake Tanganyika, Africa

Lake Tanganyika is approximately 4km deep with an area of 2,800 square km. It is one of the oldest lakes globally, dating back to when a shallow sea joined Africa and Madagascar.

The lake is home to over 350 species and forms part of the catchment area for Congo, Lualaba, and Lukuga.

6. Great Slave Lake, Canada

Great Slave is approximately 4km deep with an area of 19,300 square km. The lake lies just south of the Arctic Circle and is known for its extreme cold, frequently reaching -30C.

The lake lay just south of the Arctic Circle and was named by early explorers who believed brilliant spirits lived beneath it.

5. Lake Nipissing, Canada

Lake Nipissing is approximately 4.5km deep with an area of 67,800 square km. The lake is home to over 2000 species of plants and animals, including the Blanding’s turtle. It is located in the Canadian Shield, which has an average temperature of 6C.

4. Lake Baikal, Russia

Lake Baikal holds an estimated 20% of all freshwater globally and is roughly 4km deep. It is home to over 1,700 animals and plants, many of which are unique to the lake.

Around 90% of the lake is covered by ice, and although it was once threatened by pollution, there has been a significant improvement in water quality since 1987. There is also an estimated 44 billion tonnes of methane under its surface.

Lake Baikal holds roughly one-fifth of the world’s fresh water and has been protected from further pollution since 1987.

3. Lake Tanganyika, Africa

Lake Tanganyika is approximately 4km deep with an area of 2,800 square km. It is one of the oldest lakes globally, dating back to when a shallow sea joined Africa and Madagascar.

The lake is home to over 350 species and forms part of the catchment area for Congo, Lualaba, and Lukuga.

2. Lake Baikal, Russia

Lake Baikal holds an estimated 20% of all freshwater globally and is roughly 4km deep. It is home to over 1,700 animals and plants, many of which are unique to the lake.

Around 90% of the lake is covered by ice, and although it was once threatened by pollution, there has been a significant improvement in water quality since 1987. There is also an estimated 44 billion tonnes of methane under its surface.

1. Lake Superior, Canada

Lake Superior is approximately 4.5 km deep with an area of 31,700 km. It was formed by geological forces some 2 billion years ago and is the world’s largest lake by surface area.